Pep Guardiola insists Erling Haaland is not to blame for his lack of involvement in Manchester City’s attack because the whole team should take responsibility when they fail to click. Haaland has scored a remarkable 32 goals so far in his first season with City, but the Norway striker still divides opinions as the Premier League champions lack their previous fluency with him in the side. The 22-year-old failed to net in disappointing draws against Nottingham Forest and Leipzig over the past week.
However, City boss Guardiola rubbished suggestions that Haaland’s low number of touches per match was having an impact on his overall contribution.
“It is our fault, not Erling’s. Erling has been impressive all season,” Guardiola said Friday on the eve of City’s Premier League clash against Bournemouth.
“It’s not metrics, I don’t need metrics to know. When I finish the game, one second later I know if he has been involved or not and who should be more involved or not.”
Guardiola, whose side are two points behind Premier League leaders Arsenal, admitted his team have to improve to help Haaland’s development at City.
“Striker is the most difficult position in the world because they have two players focused on him and Erling has more,” he added. “It’s not easy to do that.
“I would like to see in my career here our other strikers like Sergio (Aguero) or Gabriel (Jesus) when they player proper striker not false nine how many times did they touch the ball.
“It’s not about have the ball, striker. Our process is more. It’s fine. I am frustrated too. You are frustrated too in your life sometimes isn’t it? Happiness is overestimated.”
City midfielder Kevin De Bruyne is a doubt for the Bournemouth clash on Saturday after missing the Champions League draw at Leipzig on Wednesday due to illness.
Guardiola said his players, in the middle of a run of five away games, were feeling the strain.
“Now it is a question to consider because our fatigue is there, definitely, but we have to take energy from I don’t know where, but we have to do it,” he said.
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